Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Hazrat Baba Bulleh Shah (R.A) - - Master of 'Kafi', Respected Scholar and Sufi Poet of Punjab

Hazrat Baba Bulleh Shah (1680 – 1757) whose real name was Abdullah Shah, was a Punjabi Sufi poet. Baba Bulleh Shah himself became a respected scholar, but he longed for true inner realization. Against the objections of his peers, he became a disciple of Inayat Shah, a famous master of the Qadiri Sufi lineage, who ultimately guided his student to deep mystical awakening.

Biography
Baba Bulleh Shah is believed to have been born in 1680, in the small village of Uch, Bahawalpur, Punjab, now in Pakistan. His ancestors had migrated from Bukhara in modern Uzbekistan . 



At the age of six months, his parents relocated to Malakwal. There his father, Shah Muhammad Darwaish, was a preacher in the village mosque and a teacher. His father later got a job in Pandoke, about 50 miles southeast of Kasur. Baba Bulleh Shah received his early schooling in Pandoke, and moved to Kasur for higher education, to become a student of the prominent professor, Ghulam Murtaza. He also received education from Maulana Mohiyuddin. His spiritual teacher was the eminent Sufi saint, Shah Inayat Qadri. 

Baba Bulleh Shah was a direct descendant of Muhammad (Peace be upon Him) (S.A.W), through the progeny of Shaikh Abdul Qadir Gillani of Baghdad. 

A large amount of what is known about Baba Bulleh Shah comes through legends, and is subjective; to the point that there isn’t even agreement among historians concerning his precise date and place of birth. Some "facts" about his life have been pieced together from his own writings. Other "facts" seem to have been passed down through oral traditions. 

Baba Bulleh Shah practiced the Sufi tradition of Punjabi poetry established by poets like Shah Hussain (1538 – 1599), Sultan Bahu (1629 – 1691), and Shah Sharaf (1640 – 1724). 

Baba Bulleh Shah lived in the same period as the famous Sindhi Sufi poet, Shah Abdul Latif Bhatai (1689 – 1752). His lifespan also overlapped with the legendary Punjabi poet Waris Shah (1722 – 1798), of Heer Ranjha fame, and the famous Sindhi Sufi poet Abdul Wahad (1739 – 1829), better known by his pen-name, Sachal Sarmast (“truth seeking leader of the intoxicated ones”). Amongst Urdu poets, Baba Bulleh Shah lived 400 miles away from Mir Taqi Mir (1723 – 1810) of Agra. 

He died in 1758, and his tomb is located in Kasur.
Poetry Style
The verse form Baba Bulleh Shah primarily employed is called the Kafi, a style of Punjabi, Sindhi and Siraiki poetry used not only by the Sufis of Sindh and Punjab, but also by Sikh gurus.
Baba Bulleh Shah’s poetry and philosophy strongly criticizes Islamic religious orthodoxy of his day. At the time worldly corruption had been taken over as oppose to the true teachings of Islam.
Poetry Translated in English:
Bulleh! to me, I am not known
Not a believer inside the mosque, am I
Nor a pagan disciple of false rites
Not the pure amongst the impure
Neither Moses, nor the Pharaoh

Bulleh! to me, I am not known

Not in the holy Vedas, am I
Nor in opium, neither in wine
Not in the drunkard`s intoxicated craze
Niether awake, nor in a sleeping daze

Bulleh! to me, I am not known

In happiness nor in sorrow, am I
Neither clean, nor a filthy mire
Not from water, nor from earth
Neither fire, nor from air, is my birth

Bulleh! to me, I am not known

Not an Arab, nor Lahori
Neither Hindi, nor Nagauri
Hindu, Turk, nor Peshawari
Nor do I live in Nadaun

Bulleh! to me, I am not known

Secrets of religion, I have not known
From Adam and Eve, I am not born
I am not the name I assume
Not in stillness, nor on the move

Bulleh! to me, I am not known

I am the first, I am the last
None other, have I ever known
I am the wisest of them all
Bulleh! do I stand alone?

Bulleh! to me, I am not known

--------------------------------------------------

One more from Baba Bulleh Shah:

Chal Way Bullehya Chal O’thay Chaliyay
Jithay Saaray Annay
Na Koi Saadee Zaat PichHanay
Tay Na Koi Saanu Mannay
***
O’ Baba Bulleh Shah let’s go there
Where everyone is blind
Where no one recognizes our caste (or race, or family name)
And where no one believes in us
***
Ab to jaag Musaffir pyare
Raeen gayi latke taare
Kar le aj karni da weera
Mod na ho si aawen tera
***
Awake, dear traveller, you’ve got to move on.
Trailing its stars, the night is gone.
Do what you have to do, do it today.
You will never be back this way.
Your companions are calling.
Let us go.
***
Awake, dear traveller, you’ve got to move on.
Trailing its stars, the night is gone.
A pearl, a ruby, the touchstone and dice
With all that you thirst by the waterside.
Awake, dear traveller, you’ve got to move on.
Trailing its stars, the night is gone.

A Beacon of Peace
Baba Baba Bulleh Shah's time was marked with communal strife between Muslims and Sikhs. But in that age Baba Baba Bulleh Shah was a beacon of hope and peace for the citizens of Punjab. While Baba Bulleh Shah was in Pandoke, Muslims killed a young Sikh man who was riding through their village in retaliation for murder of some Muslims by Sikhs. Baba Baba Bulleh Shah denounced the murder of an innocent Sikh and was censured by the mullas and muftis of Pandoke. Baba Bulleh Shah maintained that violence was not the answer to violence.
Baba Bulleh Shah also hailed Guru Tegh Bahadur as a ghazi (Islamic term for a religious warrior) and incurred the wrath of the mullas.
Modern Renditions
In the 1990s Junoon, Asia's biggest rock band from Pakistan, has also rendered such poems as Aleph (Ilmon Bas Kareen O Yaar) and Bullah Ki Jaana. Baba Bulleh Shah's verses have also been adapted and used in Bollywood film songs. In 2004, Rabbi Shergill successfully performed the unlikely feat of turning the abstruse metaphysical poem Bullah Ki Jaana into a Rock/Fusion song, which became hugely popular in India and Pakistan. Another version was performed by Lakhwinder Wadali titled simply Bullah. Examples include the songs Chhayya Chhayya and Thayya Thayya in the movie Dil Se..
In the 1990s Junoon, Asia's biggest rock band from Pakistan, has also rendered such poems as Aleph (Ilmon Bas Kareen O Yaar) and Bullah Ki Jaana. Baba Bulleh Shah's verses have also been adapted and used in Bollywood film songs. In 2004, Rabbi Shergill successfully performed the unlikely feat of turning the abstruse metaphysical poem Bullah Ki Jaana into a Rock/Fusion song, which became hugely popular in India and Pakistan. Another version was performed by Lakhwinder Wadali titled simply Bullah. Examples include the songs Chhayya Chhayya and Thayya Thayya in the movie Dil Se..

Now enjoy a video clip of his poetry in punjabi:


2 comments:

Ali Abdullah Naru said...

Wao bAbA Bhullay Shah Iz A gr8 mAn And Gr8 Sufi I Love the Poetry of Baba Bhullay shah ...


My Name Iz Chaudhery Ali Abdullah Naru

Gazi saiful islam said...

I love the teaching and poems of Bulleh shah. I already translate some of his poems in Bengali.At last I want to be Sufi and want to the path of Sufism.

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